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Anyone use flippers?

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Wolf of Ainsdale
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Anyone use flippers?

Postby Wolf of Ainsdale » Sun Jan 21, 2024 6:27 pm

Given the propensity for the swim in when kitesurfing in lighter winds...does anyone carry short flippers to assist? Am thinking of attaching some to my harness.

Am I losing the plot?

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Re: Anyone use flippers?

Postby Peter_Frank » Sun Jan 21, 2024 9:26 pm

I know that some use flippers, mentioned on this forum sometimes, and makes sense as most use single skin or double skin kites for light winds, with the risk of needing a packdown.

I dont use flippers myself, as I alsways stay close to shore where the bottom is more beautiful and no disadvantages.

But yes, I see so many surfing extremely far out, and I dont know why????
Can someone explain why this is?

8) Peter

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Re: Anyone use flippers?

Postby jyka » Sun Jan 21, 2024 10:01 pm

Peter_Frank wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2024 9:26 pm
But yes, I see so many surfing extremely far out, and I dont know why????
Can someone explain why this is?
I am wondering the same thing. There is always someone so far that it's hard to even see him. If he drops the kite no-one even knows he is in trouble. Daylight wouldn't be enough to swim back to shore.
Maybe they are some kind of adventure seekers. They enjoy the fear of death. Or maybe they just don't care or they haven't got their first swimming lesson after gear failure or wind drop..

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Re: Anyone use flippers?

Postby Jyoder » Sun Jan 21, 2024 10:15 pm

I clip some small swim fins to the back of my harness when I’m planning to go far in light or offshore wind with a big ram air kite. I have used them a few times and they work great at letting you maneuver in the water with hands free to reset a bow tie or provide resistance to pull for relaunch. Only takes a min to put on/off. Don’t notice they’re there most of the time.

Also, I always wear a PFD.

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Re: Anyone use flippers?

Postby Peter_Frank » Sun Jan 21, 2024 10:25 pm

Isn't it a PITA with a PFD when summer and only in shorts?

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Re: Anyone use flippers?

Postby jakemoore » Mon Jan 22, 2024 12:15 am

Peter_Frank wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2024 9:26 pm

But yes, I see so many surfing extremely far out, and I dont know why????
Can someone explain why this is?

8) Peter
Sometimes there is more wind away from the shore or more interesting swell. It may make sense to practice upwind and downwind riding in onshore winds. Sometimes it’s is fun to do a passage or just cover some territory. Perhaps to ride free and alone rather than in a traffic jam.

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Re: Anyone use flippers?

Postby Blackened » Mon Jan 22, 2024 1:27 am

Peter_Frank wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2024 9:26 pm
But yes, I see so many surfing extremely far out, and I dont know why????
Can someone explain why this is?
Short list for me:
1. Don't have to worry about invisible swimmers
2. Foils are virtually silent, fast, and take completely different lines - they're very hard for TT'ers to watch out for or predict their movements
2a. (Basically, they can't hear you coming, see you coming, or anticipate you coming)
3. Wind tends to be 1-2kn more or just more stable out the back

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Re: Anyone use flippers?

Postby OzBungy » Mon Jan 22, 2024 1:44 am

Rule 1 of all personal water sports is to not go out further than you're prepared to swim in. My other rule 1 is to have a downwind landing option.

On most occasions I use an inflatable kite because it's very easy to self rescue. Recently I have been experimenting with a single skin foil kite. Notionally the most likely reason an inflatable kite will fall is that there's not enough wind to hold it up. The single skin is so light it will float in the sky in almost all conditions. I stuff the bag for the kite down my wetsuit so I can stuff the kite in the bag if I need to paddle/swim in.

If conditions are so sketchy that flying a kite is a little risky I take out the wingfoil gear. It's easy to sit out zero wind lulls and relaunching is not an issue. It can be very rewarding to pump up onto the foil on glassy smooth water, especially when nobody else is out. Rule 1 still applies.

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Re: Anyone use flippers?

Postby Jyoder » Mon Jan 22, 2024 3:35 am

Isn’t it a PITA with a PFD when summer and only in shorts?
I wear a full hooded rash guard for sun protection now and PFD is non-issue.

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Re: Anyone use flippers?

Postby sflinux » Tue Jan 23, 2024 4:07 am

I recommend the Aquasphere Alpha swim fins. They are 70% lighter than other fins. I stuffed them inside a backpack, but you could carabiner them onto your harness too.
Inside my backpack, I carried a drybag, in which I could stuff my foil kite inside. It sucks swimming with a foil kite that takes on water.
Water bottle inside the backpack is nice. Long swims you could start cramping, hydration helps with that.
Inside the backpack, I also have a VHF radio. But nowadays maybe you could get away with an apple watch.
Inside my backpack, I also had some paracord, could be useful to tying things together (board, kite, shoes, etc).
Inide the backpack, I also had a spare dry bag, that could inflate and use for inflation.
I recommend wearing a coast guard approved pfd. Non-cga kite vests will not keep your head above water. Bodyglove is the most comfortable brand that I have tried.
Wear a wetsuit that is still appropriate when the sun has already gone down.
Inside the backpack, I also had a whistle & a strobe.
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